Breakfast with Bevo: Texas makes its change, but sure hopes things stay the same with Rice
Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It's Wednesday, Sept. 15. Three more days till Texas-Rice.
Top of the menu: Texas' quarterback change.
Of course Steve Sarkisian wasn't going to step from college football's royal palace in Tuscaloosa and into the Texas job and not go through his rookie season in Austin without any drama. For one, you had to figure the first loss was going to freak out the fans, anyway — after all, they have been burned by the Marylands out there and have gone through a series of up-and-down seasons.
Why not start Casey Thompson this week? As bad as the Horns looked in Fayetteville, this is Rice, this is the perfect spot to give Thompson the keys to the engine. Texas is a 26-point favorite and has dominated this series, and Thompson's production has earned him a shot. Hudson Card made it easier to accept as a smart move by struggling the way he did last week.
Consider this: Thompson has quarterbacked 10 drives so far in the second half of the Alamo Bowl and the fourth quarters plus change of the Louisiana and Arkansas games, and Texas has scored on nine of those drives. That includes his work in Fayetteville, when he rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“I feel like I was put on this team for a reason and I hope I helped other people here as much as they helped me,” Thompson told the American-Statesman — in 2017, back when he was just a committed quarterback from Southmoore, Okla. and referring to the end of his high school career. We did a recruiting story on the son of former star Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Charles Thompson after he committed to the Longhorns; after all, his high school, Newcastle, is just outside of Norman. "Please respect my decision," he tweeted in April 2017 when he made his commitment.
"He's come in and played well when he's gotten his opportunities," Horns right tackle Derek Kerstetter told us in Danny Davis' story on Thompson, which included some high school flavor from Southmoore. A November 2017 Newcastle game turned out to be the last football game he's ever quarterbacked, a span that will reach 1,415 days come Saturday.
"Texas is a perfect fit," Thompson told us in that 2017 story. "Fit doesn’t always just mean football. I look at the city and the coaching staff and how I feel around the team. I can be myself and be comfortable in my environment. I can compete day one for the starting job.”
That day is here. Only will have taken 1,415.
Some of our other Horns coverage: We've been all about the quarterback this week, naturally, from our main bar coverage of Monday's big announcement to columns, including Cedric Golden wondering how Card won the job "with a better spring and a better summer, but lost the gig in one failed half in Fayetteville?" The uncertainty at quarterback this early doesn't bode well, he wrote. Kirk Bohls, on the other hand, gives Steve Sarkisian high marks for the decision because it means Sark understands the urgency that comes with coaching Texas.
Around the Big 12: Baylor's averaging 47.5 points per game in an offense that head coach Dave Aranda described as "simple is sophisticated." Here's the Dallas Morning News story. The Bears, who open their Big 12 schedule this week against Kansas, still are trying to figure out who they are, and the answers won't come overnight, wrote Brice Cherry of the Waco Tribune-Herald. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal examined Texas Tech's stingy rush defense — it's early, but the Red Raiders rank No. 14 nationally in stopping the run. And up in Oklahoma, this week it's OU-Nebraska and we're seeing similar coverage that we saw around these parts last week with the historically-tinged Texas-Arkansas matchup. The Oklahoman got Sooners DC Alex Grinch's thoughts on OU's defense. "It should be better" was his answer. The Oklahoman also wrote about Oklahoma State's young wide receivers and how they're earning the trust of coaches.
Wiki Wiki Rice
• Rice University — named for William Marsh Rice, a Houston businessman who left his fortune to found the school— opened in 1912 on 300 acres of campus in Houston.
• Speaking of William M. Rice, he was murdered by his valet while he was sleeping. He was murdered as part of a plot to forge his will.
• Rice claims Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Fortune 500 company CEOs and Nobel Prize winners as graduates, but also: Howard Hughes, Oscar-winning writer Larry McMurtry and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Notable Rice athletes include former Astros slugger Lance Berkman. And John Heisman, for whom the trophy is named, coached the Owls' football team from 1924 to 1927.
Oh, and Rice can also claim at least a part of Howard Hughes (who dropped out) and also Candace Bushnell, the creator of "Sex And the City." She studied at Rice in the 1980s.
• Do Rice students still go streaking? Yes. Even during a pandemic? Hell yes, wrote Rice's student daily, the Thresher. Or, as the Houston Chronicle wrote, Rice's famed Baker 13 group of streakers who weaved their way through campus wearing nothing but shaving cream "teaches us how to run naked during a pandemic."
• The Owls are 7-25 so far under coach Mike Bloomgren.
• Rice's first football team popped up in 1912 and the Owls were founding members of the Southwest Conference, along with Texas.
• Texas leads the all-time series 73-21-1, including a 41-8-1 clip in games played in Austin. The Horns have won their last 14 meetings and Rice hasn't won in Austin since 1965.
Men's basketball: Texas made Marcus Carr, the new transfer point guard from Minnesota, available to the media on Tuesday. Here's Brian Davis' story.
Volleyball: Skylar Fields was named the Big 12's offensive player of the week on Tuesday after pacing the No. 1 Longhorns with 43 kills, averaging 3.91 kills per set and hitting .380 in wins over Texas State, Arizona and Notre Dame.
Softball: Texas released its fall season schedule this week, a seven-game slate with six being played at home at McCombs Field — vs. McLennan Community College on Oct. 2, Texas Lutheran on Oct. 3, Grayson College on Oct. 8, Texas State on Oct. 10, Temple College on Oct. 23 and UTSA on Oct. 23. The Horns will play Texas A&M in College Station on Oct. 17. All home games are free admission. ... Meanwhile, former UT pitcher Miranda Elish has transferred to Oklahoma State, where she'll be eligible this year.
Soccer: Midfielder Lexi Missimo was named the Big 12's freshman of the week on Tuesday for the second week in a row. She tied a UT single-match record with four goals in Sunday's 7-0 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley. The goals all came within a stretch of 15:51 of the second half.
Men's golf: No. 5 Texas shot a 4-under-par 284 on Tuesday to move into second place at the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational in Carrollton. Parker Coody shot a 4-under-par 68 to move into third in the individual standings. No. 3 Arizona State holds a two-stroke lead over the Longhorns entering Wednesday's final round.
Women's golf: No. 9 Texas moved up three spots into fifth place Tuesday with a 3-over-par 291 after the second round of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Lake Elmo, Minn. Graduate transfer Brigitte Thibault paced Texas with an even-par 72 and is tied for 20th individually entering Wednesday's final round.
OK, Breakfast is over. We'll be back Saturday to talk more Texas vs. Rice.